In 2002 Edmonton Police Service Constable Mike Wasylyshen took out his police-issued taser and fired it into 16-year-old Randy Fryingpan 8 times in just 68 seconds. On October 9, 2012 Constable Mike Wasylyshen was found guilty of using unlawful force in tasering and then hitting Randy Fryingpan in the head back on October 5, 2002.
It's taken 10 long years for this case of police brutality to reach the sentencing phase. While that in itself is an outrage, the greater outrage is the proposed penalty for Constable Mike Wasylyshen's police brutality: a mere 90-115 hours of suspension without pay.
As if this proposed slap on the wrist wasn't obscene enough, the Edmonton Police Association felt the need to show what a complete joke it is when its president, Tony Sinioni, declared that the recommended penalty is, and I quote:
“a tough pill to swallow.”
I would suggest all the painkillers that Randy's been taking for the past 10 years are the "tough pills to swallow", but hey, what do I know?
This Edmonton Police Association buffoon went on to say,
"(It's) a very significant monetary penalty and one that no member of the public in a criminal court would have ever received."
The buffoon is correct. We wouldn't face a monetary penalty. We'd be spending a couple of years in prison.
It is long past time we reformed our entire police complaints process, because this case highlights two things for Canadians.
First, the obscenely low penalties police constables pay when they break the law when compared to the penalties we mere citizens would face in the same situation, and second, the obscenely long time it takes for a complaint of police brutality to come to a conclusion.
Ten years is well beyond absurd.
Robert Hladun, the lawyer for the cop convicted of police brutality, didn't do his cause any favours when he compared his client's actions to those of a second grader.
"It’s no different (than if) you did something wrong in Grade 2 and here you are in Grade 11 being penalized for something that happened (10) years ago.”
Constable Wasylyshen was not in grade 2. He was a trained constable with the Edmonton Police Service and had over three years experience on the job. He was an adult. He should be sentenced like one, not slapped on the wrist and told "don't do it again."
Randy Fryingpan has to live with the consequences of this brutal attack for the rest of his life. Shouldn't the man who caused all this pain be sentenced to something greater than a few days without pay?
Nope. Not in Canada. Here we let police constables get away with pretty much anything. Just ask the family of Orion Hutchinson... Or the family of Ian Bush... or the family of Dudley George...
Not a single police member was held responsible in any of those deaths, and that should make us all feel ashamed.